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How to use OPI Black Shatter Nailpolish February 2, 2011

Posted by graciegrapes in Beauty.

Katy Perry Collection by OPI

A couple of weeks ago OPI released their Katy Perry Collection which included 5 “colors”; the most interesting of the set is Black Shatter! Black shatter is different in that it is more of a topcoat of sorts, the directions with the nail polish states:

“Apply one coat of Black Shatter over any completely dry Katy shade for an irresistable “shattered” look.”

As the polish dries it separates on the nail creating a broken look over your initial color.  What you get is a customized look without having to go pay for nail art/manicure.  Plus, due to the effect you don’t have to worry about being overly neat or perfect with your application.  However there are some tricks getting the ideal look.

#1: Think contrasting colors.
This one would seem to be a no brainer, but I figured it was worth mentioning.  Since the polish is black is won’t show up well over darker colors.  Bright colors result in the most noticeable effect.

#2: Use a clear polish before applying Black Shatter.
This one a figured out through trial and error.  With my left hand I applied the black shatter directly on top of my base color, and I noticed that the base color did not come through as vibrant.  The base color was dulled out and upon closer inspection appears to have been “eaten away”.  So with my right hand I decided to apply a top coat over my base coat, and the results were MUCH better.  Black shatter not only “shattered” cleaner, but the base color showed through much brighter.

Left Hand

Right Hand








I also noticed that on my left hand, without a clear coat between the base and black shatter, after applying a finishing top coat it still appears rather dull in comparison to my right hand.  And that brings me to my final tip.

#3:  Use a top coat to finish.
Black shatter by itself does not have a shiny finish, it’s pretty matte.  The matte finish is more evident with you don’t apply a clear coat over your base color.  In my opinion the overall look is better, and more “professional” looking with a top coat to finish.  I have also read that some people have experienced the black flaking off without a topcoat to seal it.

Finished product

Close Up




For those looking for something special to do with there nails without having to visit the nail salon I’d definitely suggest picking up a bottle of Black Shatter.  I got my bottle at Ulta, but I’m sure it can probably picked up anywhere that the OPI brand is sold.  Also, the polish is part of the main OPI brand; I can’t say that it’s available at sephora, since sephora sells a line by OPI which is specific to Sephora.



1. China Glaze: Crackle Glaze « Not so secret… - February 18, 2011

[…] applied a clear coat prior to applying the crackle glaze; due to my previous experience with OPI’s Black Shatter (click for my tips on use). China Glaze "Broken Hearted" over OPI "The One That Got […]

2. kelsey - March 9, 2011

can you use the shatter on any OPI nailpolish, or just katy perrys

Grace - March 9, 2011

It can be used with any nail polish 🙂

Tosh - March 28, 2011

You can use it on any. I have a China glaze base with the OPI Shatter

Kaitlyn - July 15, 2011

Can you put it on any nail polish or just opi?

3. Dalia - April 25, 2011

I JUST bought the Shatter and I tried it on immediately and it didn’t work. I have Chanel nail polish on with OPI Envy topcoat. Any reasons why it shouldn’t work? I’m going to go home and try it with OPI and no top coat, or maybe a different topcoat. I don’t know how the Envy reacts with the Shatter but I hope it works some way or another :\

Grace - April 25, 2011

I was gonna say that it won’t work on a plain nail, but you said that you did have polish on. Perhaps you applied too much; I have noticed that the thicker you apply it the less cracks form, but I don’t think I’ve had it not crack at all….

Briana - June 19, 2011

Was the top coat lacquer? the shatter only works on lacquer nail polish. i have tried with non lacquer and it cracks a little bit like one or not at all

4. Paige - April 28, 2011

If your base coat is still any form of wet, the crackle will not work.

5. Olivia - April 30, 2011

what nail polish did you use under the black shatter?

6. Vanessa - May 19, 2011

Can you use black shatter on any nail polish or just OPI???

boooooooooo - July 30, 2011

Dunno i was wanting to know that as well, anyone else know the anwser??

7. Vanessa - May 19, 2011

Can you use black shatter on any nail polish or just OPI??

Briana - June 19, 2011

U have to use any Lacquer nall polish but u should use O.P.I cause they have the most Lacquers and since shatter is OPI it will work best

8. Dolly - May 29, 2011

My black shatter polish has become very thick. Any suggestions on how to thin it?????????

11farmerme - June 5, 2011

You can pour a little of nail polish remover.. Its okay. Your nail polish and nail polish remover both have acetone. The remover wont do damage to the color.

-Future Professional

OPI FAN - July 31, 2011

You can purchase a nail polish thinner. Don’t use nail polish remover, as this will damage it and lighten the colour 🙂

9. emily - July 1, 2011

i gto one and it doesent work at all! 😦 what did i do wrong?!?!?

10. Amy - July 23, 2011

i got a bottle of the bright blue and it does little to nothing. my friend got the same color and hers is a little better but not much. we both used it over an opi lacquer :/ any suggestions?

11. OPI FAN - July 31, 2011

Amy, where did you purchase the blue shatter nail polish from? My cousin bought hers from Ebay and i think it was a fake. I have seen it on other people and it looks perfect – they bought it from a major shopping centre.

ellen - August 13, 2011

i got the same colour…try painting hot pink under it. it shatters really well and the colours look awesome together

12. kwyjibo - August 4, 2011

i just bought the black shatter today, and i’ve used an essie nail polish (fishnet stockings) as the base color and it works just fine. just make sure that the base color is dry before putting on the shatter.

13. Dawn - November 15, 2011

You have to wait until the LACQUER nail polish you use as a base coat color is completely dry… I’m still not all that impressed with the product, however. I think it leaves too much black showing (and not enough of the contrasting color) even when it’s done and works correctly.

14. nailart - January 7, 2012

I love shatter. I have four colors. And off brands too. I do tons of trial and error. I’ve learned that a thin coat over even polish shatters best:) also if you blow on it to make it dry faster. You get thiner shatters ^_^

15. Brittni - March 30, 2012

Your top coat trick before the shatter nail polish worked WONDERS! Thank you for suggesting it!

16. mala - May 4, 2012

everytime i use mine it just doesnt shatter at all am i doing something wrong??

17. Samantha - June 12, 2012

You are amazing!!!!! I bought OPI Blue shatter a couple months ago and could NOT get it to work. I used a pink as the undercoat and the clear over the pink was genius. Thank you for making my $8 worth it!

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